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Geosciences 2019, 9(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9020080

Stratigraphy, Petrography and Grain-Size Distribution of Sedimentary Lithologies at Cahuachi (South Peru): ENSO-Related Deposits or a Common Regional Succession?

1
Istituto di Scienze dell’Atmosfera e del Clima, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Complesso Ecotekne, Via per Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Scienze Pure e Applicate, Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Campus Scientifico Enrico Mattei, 61029 Urbino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 16 January 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 8 February 2019
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Abstract

Several central Andean pre-Columbian sites struck by hydrogeological disasters due to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events are reported in the literature. The mainstream explanation for the decline and demise of Cahuachi (pampa of Nazca, south Peru) implies the damage and burial of such a ceremonial center as a consequence of two catastrophic river floods, which occurred around 600 CE and 1000 CE, respectively. Therefore, geological studies at Cahuachi are mandatory with regard to both the correlations of ENSO-related deposits (“event-strata”) among different Peruvian sites and the assessment of the millennium-scale climate variability. In particular, the latter is crucial to evaluate the environmental and economic consequences due to the incoming fluctuations of ENSO. In this paper, stratigraphic, grain-size distribution, and petrographic investigations on a sedimentary section exposed close to one of the main temples of Cahuachi are reported. They represent the first test for the current mainstream explanation. The preliminary finding indicates that the studied stratigraphic interval may belong to the common regional succession of the pampa of Nazca rather than the ENSO-related deposits described in the literature. However, further geological research will be necessary to unravel this issue in more detail. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mega El Niño; pampa of Nazca; Cuenca Pisco; Rio Grande de Nazca; grain-size; volcaniclastic layer; stratigraphy; petrography Mega El Niño; pampa of Nazca; Cuenca Pisco; Rio Grande de Nazca; grain-size; volcaniclastic layer; stratigraphy; petrography
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Delle Rose, M.; Mattioli, M.; Capuano, N.; Renzulli, A. Stratigraphy, Petrography and Grain-Size Distribution of Sedimentary Lithologies at Cahuachi (South Peru): ENSO-Related Deposits or a Common Regional Succession? Geosciences 2019, 9, 80.

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